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Fazio wastes little time in becoming a colossus at the back

One writer takes a closer look at Federico Fazio, the defender who arrived amid little fanfare in the summer – but has quickly become a huge part of the Giallorossi defence…

Footballers have several obstacles when they join a new team. Sometimes they have to learn a new language and the lifestyle of a new country. Other times it has to do with matters on the pitch – adjusting to new tactics, new teammates.

One thing we tend to overlook with players joining a new club, however, are the preconceived notions that fans may have about the player. 

Few players have been able to overcome these obstacles as majestically as Roma's Federico Fazio has this season.

The Argentine arrived to the capital with the notion that he was a bit of an ‘unknown’, perhaps even a risk, after playing sparingly at Tottenham and Sevilla over the last couple of seasons. Now, though, Roma's big man in the middle of defence finds himself to be one of the most important players in Luciano Spalletti's side.

If you're skeptical, look no further than the words of Roma's Tuscan manager after his sides 1-0 victory over Cagliari, which marked yet another clean sheet for the Giallorossi.

“Fazio isn’t mentioned often, but he always plays,” Luciano Spalletti said. “He has the right timing, dribbles well, and leads the defensive line."

Ever since the Argentine managed to work his way into Luciano Spalletti's preferred XI in the match against Fiorentina earlier this season – a move in part granted by injury and circumstance - Roma have conceded more than one goal in a match only twice in 18 league matches.

As for clean sheets, Roma have had eight in 18 league matches with Fazio in the middle of the back-line and are able to boast the second-best defence in Serie A. 

“I am enjoying being part of this team,” Fazio himself said after the Cagliari game. “I’ll say it again, the thing that counts is winning and we need to keep this up.

“As players, we are all growing in this respect and we’re playing well. We’re on the right track and we need to keep going in that direction.”

So while it may sometimes be easy to overlook defenders, Fazio deserves all the plaudits that come his way for being one of the best performers and leaders at the back for the Giallorossi.

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